The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Searching for agreement

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Dec 29, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Left field is up for debate. The roles of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes are undefined. There are favorites for the bullpen and bench, but few of those pieces are set in stone.

At this point, though, can we agree on that these 14 spots and roles are set for the Yankees in 2010?

A.J. Burnett – Starting pitcher. Probably the No. 2 spot in the rotation. Just have to hope he stays healthy.

Robinson Cano – Starting second baseman. Production from the bottom half of the batting order.

Curtis Granderson – Starting center fielder. Able to play multiple roles in the lineup. Biggest name of the new additions. 

Derek Jeter – Starting shortstop. Face of the franchise. Almost certainly the lead-off hitter.

Nick Johnson – Designated hitter. Backup first baseman. Almost certainly the No. 2 hitter.

Damaso Marte – Left-handed reliever. Hoping for the 2009 playoff version, not the 2009 regular season version.

Andy Pettitte – Starting pitcher. Middle of the rotation. A repeat of last season would be just fine.

Jorge Posada – Starting catcher. A few lingering health concerns. Probably occasional starts at designated hitter.

Mariano Rivera – Himself.

Dave Robertson – Right-handed reliever. Middle to late innings. He’s a lock, right?

Alex Rodriguez — Starting third baseman. Clean-up hitter. Suddenly a playoff hero.

CC Sabathia – Starting pitcher. Opening day. Probably for the next few years.

Nick Swisher – Starting right fielder. Pest at the plate. Power at the bottom of the order.

Mark Teixeira – Starting first baseman. No. 3 hitter. MVP candidate.

It’s more or less certain that Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Brett Gardner, Alfredo Aceves and Chad Gaudin will play one role or another, but I’m not sure those roles are 100 percent set at this point. Francisco Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, Jamie Hoffmann and (maybe) Boone Logan are also favorites to make the team, but those situations could change depending on other moves that might or might not happen.

 
 

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272 Responses to “Searching for agreement”

  1. Long Trail December 29th, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Javy Vasquez doesn’t make the cut?

  2. Ace December 29th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Beat me to it, Long Trail. What about Home Run Javy?

  3. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Does Miranda fit in as a bench bat?
    If not we have to trade him soon & get something of value.

  4. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Of course Vazquez is in. He’s a lock for the #3 or #4 spot.

  5. Six Degrees of Javier Vazquez December 29th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Jon Heyman says the Yanks were interested in trading Melky and prospects to the Cubs for Carlos Zambrano.

    The most interest part is the Yanks were willing to take on Zambrano’s big contract (the 4th highest paid pitcher) that averages $18 mill for the next 4 seasons. This in spite of all the chatter about budgets.

    What this tells me is the Yanks will not shy away from adding another big pitching contract next year. Target: Cliff Lee and Josh Beckett.

  6. Abdababdaserser December 29th, 2009 at 9:30 am

    “The Yankees have a couple million to play with, though they could free up a few more million by trading Chad Gaudin and/or Sergio Mitre. McCarron’s official named Reed Johnson and Jerry Hairston Jr. as considerations for the left field vacancy.”

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

    _____________________

    I can see trading Gaudin or Mitre, but Reed Johnson or Jerry Hairston Jr. for LF? I don’t see that as being any more beneficial to the team than running Gardner out there.

  7. Fran (the original) and OPPC member December 29th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    The most interest part is the Yanks were willing to take on Zambrano’s big contract (the 4th highest paid pitcher) that averages $18 mill for the next 4 seasons. This in spite of all the chatter about budgets.
    *************************
    I thought that the Yanks wanted the Cubs to pay part of the contract and that was one of the reasons the Yankees pulled away.

  8. Abdababdaserser December 29th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    If Beckett is ever signed by the Yankees I will refuse to watch them for the duration of his tenure.

  9. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Pena is a favorite for INF replacement, but Kevin Russo will probably get a shot in Spring Training too.

  10. The real Pete Abe December 29th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Umm

  11. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    “The most interest part is the Yanks were willing to take on Zambrano’s big contract (the 4th highest paid pitcher) that averages $18 mill for the next 4 seasons. This in spite of all the chatter about budgets.”

    The word was the Cubs were willing to take on Igawa’s contract as part of the deal, but that wasn’t good enough for the Yankees. They wanted the Cubs to kick in some cash to cover a chunk of Fat Z’s contract.

  12. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I expect a breakout season for Melancon.

  13. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I’m looking forward to Spring Training. IMHO the positions to watch are:

    #5 starter – Joba/Hughes/Aceves
    LF – is Hoffman any good? Will Gardner show more pop?
    Bench Bat – Will Miranda make the cut?
    Infield Backup – Ramiro Pena/Kevin Russo/Reegie Corona

  14. MTU December 29th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    George-

    “Will Gardner show more pop?”

    No.

  15. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Rich I agree with you, Melancon will likely make the club.

  16. m December 29th, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I’m a little disappointed in you, Chad. Haven’t we moved on from the “As long as AJ stays healthy” stage? He’s got at least his 2 year button! Just kidding you, but I think we’ve passed the point of using this as any kind of “analysis”.

  17. MTU December 29th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    IMO, If Boone Logan has a good spring he makes the team as a 2nd lefty to backup Marte.

  18. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Blake, that’s what I commented about last night. Last year, Cash was very opaque in his comments about pursuing the FA. This year, he’s used much more specific language. He’s referenced the budget, he’s come out and said that the LF will not be a “big name”, etc….There can be no misinterpretation of any of his statements. There is no indication anywhere that the Yankees have any interest in Holliday. There’s been no buzz, no nothing. I recall that with Tex there were still a few sportswriters, etc…..that thought the Yankees were in play. There’s not even a HINT of that here.

  19. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    MTU

    A lot of young guys don’t come into their power until 3-4 years in the league. Best example is Bernie Williams. His offense took a big jump after his 4th yr on the team.

    I’m not saying Gardner is going to be a power hitter overnight, but maybe develop more power to the gaps.

  20. Six Degrees of Javier Vazquez December 29th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Frank December 29th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    The word was the Cubs were willing to take on Igawa’s contract as part of the deal, but that wasn’t good enough for the Yankees. They wanted the Cubs to kick in some cash to cover a chunk of Fat Z’s contract.
    =================================

    That’s odd. I didn’t hear the last part. after all, Kei’s contract is $4 mill per year for TWO more years, which when offset, would have reduced Zambrano’s deal to $14 mill per year, only $2 million more than Javy’s deal.

    Though, I was crazy about Zambrano, his last two seasons have been lackluster – pitching only 12 more innings than Joba in ’09.

  21. CB December 29th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    So the primary message we’ve heard from the front office is that they are going to add another outfielder but that every available outfielder appears to be too expensive.

    Ok then.

    Here was an interesting bit from McCarron’s story today:

    “Even if they had signed DeRosa, the Yankee official said, they would likely have brought in another outfielder, too.”

    So in otherwords, they weren’t particularly interested in DeRosa in all likelihood.

    It seems as if the front office does not want to be used this year as a vehicle for free agents to drive up their prices. It’s interesting.

    There aren’t many reasons why anonymous sources would be so emphatic. How does that benefit the team?

  22. tex's friend December 29th, 2009 at 9:46 am

    still believe we need some stability in LF and i dont think it should be a ‘platoon’.

    Part of what made the yankees great last year was the stability at all 8 positions and the starting pitching. Some were not always great but there was stability on all fronts.

    I still think we should see what we have in Colin Curtis also as a starter in lf. If they arent going for the kill with holliday, why not.

  23. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    AJ’s thrown 200 plus innings two years in a row; IMO, he’s no different than anyone else as far as injuries go. AJ takes a lot better care of himself and his between starts routine is completely different (thanks, Doc).

    Cano is ultra-talented, but too limited for his ability; he should not be a bottom of the order hitter.

    If he’s healthy, Marte will be fine; he was never healthy last year….until, miraculously, the WS.

    Robertson – can he continue his success? Can he stay healthy?

  24. MTU December 29th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    George-
    I understand what you are saying but I don’t agree with it.

    IMO, BG would be better served doing his best Mickey Rivers imitation.

    Speed is his biggest asset not power.

    He should be bunting and pounding the ball into the ground.

    Get that OBP up as high as possible.

    He’s a disruptor on the basepaths.

  25. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    “Even if they had signed DeRosa, the Yankee official said, they would likely have brought in another outfielder, too.”

    That’s actually another reason why I didn’t want DeRosa. I thought Girardi would overuse him in too many spots.

  26. William Buckner December 29th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Reed Johnson? Jamie Hoffman? Jerry Hairston?

    If it was a bet, would you take one of those three or the field? I’d take the field if the bet was my home. Unless you are still betting on Bubba Crosby in CF or them not having enough money to sign Tex.

    This is really, really smart positioning by Cashman. You still have a boat load of corner OF on the market. The smart bet is he gets a veteran late on a one year deal.

    And this vet doesn’t have to play everyday. If it’s a Vlad or Dye type, he can rest a game or DH. The current roster continues to improve it’s versatility.

  27. rico December 29th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I like Melancon, too. There is pitching depth (Aceves, Gaudin, Mitre) available to trade. The question is for what?

  28. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Gardner slugs with his legs, not his bat.

    There are various ways to get to 2nd base.

  29. Ed in PR December 29th, 2009 at 9:51 am

    Betsy,

    Does Cano’s RISP AVG ring any bells? Must be a fake Betsy…

  30. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    I love Hairston as a utility guy, but there is no way he’s an everyday LF; I have to believe Cash is smarter than that.

    Right now, the pen is a bit iffy and the bench is lousy.

    Rich, Melancon for me is a huge question mark; he has an awful lot to prove. I hope he can be solid this year because, if he can, that would help us an awful lot.

  31. NYY Fan in NC December 29th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Well, you can’t believe EVERYTHING you read but this from Dierkes over on MLBTRaderumors certainly supports the regularly sage comments of Betsy.

    Yankees official quoted: “No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance on Jason Bay. Zero. None. Underline it.”

  32. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Ed, I have no idea what you’re talking about and this is the real me…..lol, I’m not going to try and prove it to you. Are you the real you?

  33. Ed in PR December 29th, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Betsy you said Cano should be batting higher and not bottom of the order… I can’t imagine Girardi batting him anywhere higher than 6th in the lineup with that avg with RISP.

  34. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 9:56 am

    NYYFan, that quote was in the Daily News article I posted earlier. The Yankees have made it quite clear that they have no interest in Holliday; I’m disappointed and I think they are dead wrong about Crawford. I hope Crawford is traded or re-signed before he hits FA.

  35. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    “I like Melancon, too. There is pitching depth (Aceves, Gaudin, Mitre) available to trade. The question is for what?”

    They may need another LH reliever, at least someone who can be a LOOGY.

  36. Ed H. December 29th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    I really don’t get all the Gardner hate on this blog. It seems obvious to me, based upon 50 years of following baseball, that the jury is still out on how much of an offensive producer he will be. This has historically been a franchise that eats its young and the fans should be encouraging team managent to be patient and find out what we’ve got here. We’ll know a lot more a year from now if Brett gets at least 400 ABs this year. Meanwhile, he’s an excellent defender and is the only player on the team with plus plus speed.

  37. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    “Right now, the pen is a bit iffy and the bench is lousy.”

    Just as a reminder, the Yankees resided in 1st place when they traded for Hairston and Hinske last season.

  38. Fran (the original) and OPPC member December 29th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    It seems as if the front office does not want to be used this year as a vehicle for free agents to drive up their prices. It’s interesting.
    ************************************
    CB,

    Good point. That is probably why there is no movement on Bay, Holliday, et al. The agents are probably hoping to somehow get the Yankees involved or at least linked to the players.

  39. MTU December 29th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Rich-

    Check logan’s splits against lefties.

  40. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Ed, that’s not what I said. I said, for his talent, Cano is very limited. He shouldn’t be a bottom of the order hitter with the way he can hit the ball, but the reality is that he is a bottom of the order hitter because other things get in the way.

  41. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 9:59 am

    “I’m disappointed and I think they are dead wrong about Crawford.”

    When have the Yanks ever said a damn thing about Carl Crawford?

  42. MTU December 29th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Spring training should be particularly interesting this year.

    Lot’s guys will get a chance to strut their stuff for certain positions.

  43. NYY Fan in NC December 29th, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Betsy,

    Sorry, missed the earlier post but I should have noted that it was quoting McCarron’s piece.

    To your last point, I really don’t understand why Cash and The Family would not even consider Holliday or Crawford. It seems strange to speak in such absolutes especially concerning an obvious need.

  44. murphydog December 29th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Stay strong everybody. You’re all tweaking!

    [Tweaking is a slang term for OCD-like, compulsive, or repetitive behavior, often making insignificantly small adjustments to things, while in a slightly agitated or confused state. It refers to someone exhibiting pronounced symptoms of methamphetamine or amphetamine use, including punding, hyperactivity, an inhibited ability to relate socially, lack of appetite, inattention to bodily hygiene, exaggerated fidgeting, formication (the false sense of things crawling on or under the skin), or an incessant desire to fiddle or 'tweak' with objects in their surroundings].

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypy

    These repetitious, pointless “Joba vs. Hughes” arguments, the protracted, obvious LF discussions, the “Good Torre vs. Bad Tore,” the Cash-doesn’t-know-what-he’s-doing-because-he-didn’t-cough-up-the-cash-and-treasure-to-get-the-”Days” (Holli and Halla), the PEDs rehashing … it’s all too clear.

    These are signs of junkies jonesing for Opening Day. The first step on the road to recovery is admitting there is a problem. Go read a book, take a shower or maybe take a walk. Pitchers and Catchers is a ways off, so we gotta hold it together.

  45. CB December 29th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    “That is probably why there is no movement on Bay, Holliday, et al. The agents are probably hoping to somehow get the Yankees involved or at least linked to the players.”

    That very well could be part of it. Coming into the winter both the Yanks and Sox had holes in LF.

    I’d guess agents with LF were very enthusiastic about that. But the market hasn’t panned out.

    At the same time, particularly for Bay and Holliday, I’d imagine it is very hard to sign while the yankees still have a vacancy in LF.

  46. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    MTU

    ML career: .266/.333/.398/.732

    ml career: 0.267 WHIP: 1.44

    But the Braves did prefer Dunn and he’s not a sure thing either.

  47. m December 29th, 2009 at 10:04 am

    If the Yankees don’t want Bay or Holliday, it’s probably because Bay is too old, and there’s too many questions about Holliday.

  48. Ed in PR December 29th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Pardon me Betsy I thought you meant he was being limited by batting order…

  49. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    NYY, thanks for the kind words – I appreciate it.

  50. rico December 29th, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Punding? Fine, I’m off to the shower.

  51. MTU December 29th, 2009 at 10:06 am

    Rich-

    Sorry. I thought last year might be representative.

    Wasn’t he particularly good last year as a LOOGY ?

    Maybe, he’ll start a trend ?

  52. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Stuckey, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I’m sorry – I’ve read way too many articles, etc…that talk about how the Yankees have interest in Carl Crawford. Just because I don’t hear it from them (and we wouldn’t hear it from the Yankees as Crawford is currently the property of another team).

  53. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    If DeRosa goes to SF, there’s no one left other than the big boys and the little fish to play LF.

    We should have seen this coming when the Yanks showed no apparent interest in Mike Cameron.

    The simplest explanation is that the Yanks think they are the best team in the AL as things stand and don’t see any reason to spend more $$.

    Things may change if Boston makes a big move or looks like they will, otherwise this year we really may get Bubba Crosby.

  54. Six Degrees of Javier Vazquez December 29th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    If DeRosa goes to SF, there’s no one left other than the big boys and the little fish to play LF.
    =====================================
    Damon will is a inbetweener.

  55. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    NYY, no need to apologize. I’m actually not a fan of a Crawford signing; the minute his legs go, poof – his value is gone.

  56. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    “Stuckey, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I’m sorry – I’ve read way too many articles, etc…that talk about how the Yankees have interest in Carl Crawford.”

    I strongly suspect if you go back and read them again, you’ll find it was in fact writers SPECULATING that the Yanks would be interested in him, and interpreting statements like Cashman’s comments about the 2011 FA class.

    I’ll bet you can’t find a single writer citing a source within the organization saying anything about Crawford.

  57. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Ed, no problem!

  58. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    prefer DeRosa on the Giants, instead of the Yankees.

    if Chone Figgins were still on the market, would love to have him.

    despite his billing, Mark DeRosa is not Chone Figgins

  59. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I prefer Holliday to Crawford, but I am not dead set against Crawford. Plus, studies show that speedy players tend to age well.

  60. Ed in PR December 29th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    The way this team is currently constructed can win it again. I have faith in Cash.

    Boston got a little better with the acquisition of Lackey but regressed with the signing/non-signing of Cameron/Bay. Now if they signed Bay then I’d have to admit they have gotten better as a whole but aren’t the favorites outside of NESPN.

  61. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    “But the Braves did prefer Dunn and he’s not a sure thing either.”

    Probably preferred Dunn’s potential, but perhaps even more than that they preferred his distance from arbitration.

  62. m December 29th, 2009 at 10:21 am

    lol, I had a thought during yesterday’s discussion that the Indy fans were robbed.

    Apparently, they think so, too. Bill Pohlian (sp) was getting verbally abused by irate callers. One guy said the team spit on the fans. They cut the show short. lol.

  63. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    “Probably preferred Dunn’s potential, but perhaps even more than that they preferred his distance from arbitration.”

    Maybe, but I read somewhere that the Braves “love” Dunn.

  64. Brian NYY December 29th, 2009 at 10:23 am

    OK, I’d rather have Boone Logan over Fat Albaladejo.

    Tampa might as well trade CC (Carl Crawford) to us now. He’s a lock in LF for 2011.

    Unless we are all woitnessing Tex 2010 with Matt Holliday. If the Mutts, Crads and Sux keep driving Holliday’s price down, we are definitely going to swoop int and make a Fair Market Value offer and land our #5 hitter. Although, I prefer CC.

  65. blake December 29th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Betsy, the Yankees have been much more specific in their language on Holliday than they were last year with Tex but that still doesn’t mean I 100% buy it. All Cashman would have to say is that circumstances have changed and the price became appropriate. Again I don’t know if the Yankees will sign Holliday but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out based soley on what Cashman and anonomous “Yankee officials” tell the media.

  66. jvcelt December 29th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    another day closer to johnny damon, at our terms, for 2010.

  67. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    “OK, I’d rather have Boone Logan over Fat Albaladejo.”

    I would rather go with a 24 man roster than have Albaladejo.

  68. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    “Apparently, they think so, too. Bill Pohlian (sp) was getting verbally abused by irate callers. One guy said the team spit on the fans. They cut the show short. lol.”

    That’s why fans don’t run teams. As I’m sure the fans of the “greatest regular season team of all time” will tell you, none of it means much if it doesn’t come with a title. No need to run the risk of injury in a meaningless game. If the Colts bring home Super Bowl #2 (#3 if you count their Charm City days), a week 16 loss to the Jets will cease to be an issue.

  69. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    “Maybe, but I read somewhere that the Braves “love” Dunn”
    —————————————————

    i loved the way he looked in spring training, last year. Although, if Dunn was going to be BJ Ryan (healthy version) our scouts would not have moved him

  70. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:27 am

    m

    “They cut the show short.”

    That screams not being ready for prime time.

  71. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    “Maybe, but I read somewhere that the Braves “love” Dunn.”

    Vizcaino was the key to the deal, but maybe they do. Again, the fact that he’s miles from arb/free agency helps, but his upside is probably considerably higher than Boone Logan’s.

  72. William Buckner December 29th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    DeRosa is a player that we’ve heard is under-rated so often that he is now over-rated.

    He’s old. He has no position. He had one good year, 2008. And if you look at the jump, forgive me if the first thing that comes to mind is PED.

    If I had a number two on the under-rated to over-rated list it’s Chone Figgans.

    Yankees fans are remarkably lucky that Cashman gets that.

  73. Brian NYY December 29th, 2009 at 10:33 am

    “DeRosa is a player that we’ve heard is under-rated so often that he is now over-rated.

    He’s old. He has no position. He had one good year, 2008. And if you look at the jump, forgive me if the first thing that comes to mind is PED.

    If I had a number two on the under-rated to over-rated list it’s Chone Figgans.”

    YOU ARE 1000% correct. Utility players, like DeRosa and Figgins, do not deserve the money they’re getting. Sooner, rather than later, people will see that. Great JOB C-$, so far. If we sign Damon to a moderate contract, or swoop in and steal Holliday, or wait for Carl Crawford, you have done a terrific job!

  74. Phil the Thrill December 29th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Mickey Rivers, Willie McGee and Vince Coleman didn’t age well, to name three.

  75. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    “If I had a number two on the under-rated to over-rated list it’s Chone Figgans”
    ——————————————–

    yes. He is versitile enough to play every position on the diamond, batted .300 last year, can hit leadoff, got over 100 walks last year, and has speed to burn. But yeah he sucks

    not campaigning for him. I prefer what the yankees did this off-season and he is also off the market. But in the regular season player, Figgins is a very good player

  76. mick December 29th, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Abdababdaserser December 29th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    If Beckett is ever signed by the Yankees I will refuse to watch them for the duration of his tenure.
    ABDA===================================================
    Didn’t you say that for Clemens,Boggs and Damon? Not Ruth, before your time :)

  77. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    “Mickey Rivers, Willie McGee and Vince Coleman didn’t age well, to name three”
    —————————————————

    for someone who you claim didn’t “age well”. Willie McGee sure had a hell of a long career, and had damm good stats as well

  78. wallypip December 29th, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I’m becoming more and more open to Gardner as the everyday LF. The Yankees do need to add a righthanded bopper, but if Gardner can produce around a .350 OBP (.340 last season) and steal 40 bases then he is a very good #9 hitter. I don’t see any reason for the Yankees to pay dollars or prospects for 25 HRs from a traditional LF. It’s also worth noting that Hoffman had a .900+ OPS vs. lefties in AAA last season. If that translates to a decent OBP vs. lefties in the majors then the Gardner/Hoffman platoon is the next fallback.

  79. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    “Mickey Rivers, Willie McGee and Vince Coleman didn’t age well, to name three.”

    Rickey Henderson and Ichiro to name two.

  80. mick December 29th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    NYY, no need to apologize. I’m actually not a fan of a Crawford signing; the minute his legs go, poof – his value is gone.
    ========================================
    betsy,that could be 4-5 years from now, he’s only 28 and wouldnt need to steal 50 here.

  81. RayVT December 29th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Henderson, Brock, Ozzie Smith, Maury Wills did age well to name 4.

  82. tex's friend December 29th, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Betsy, the Yankees have been much more specific in their language on Holliday than they were last year with Tex but that still doesn’t mean I 100% buy it. All Cashman would have to say is that circumstances have changed and the price became appropriate. Again I don’t know if the Yankees will sign Holliday but I certainly wouldn’t rule it out based soley on what Cashman and anonomous “Yankee officials” tell the media.

    ___

    I agree that all it would take is for Holliday’s price to come down and then to say, well look now we have a reasonable offer, and a hole to fill.

    They want it to look like they are getting a deal.

  83. mick December 29th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I know a bench is not a high priority but we all remember the cries last season. so we got hairston and hinske + we had molina.

    now we have none of them, where is the logic?

  84. CB December 29th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    “Rickey Henderson and Ichiro to name two.”

    Those guys both have/ had plus hitting tools. That’s a pretty big confounder. They were tremendous with a bat in their hands. Crawford isn’t remotely close to those players.

    Crawford’s also played on horrible astro turf for years. I wouldn’t be particularly confident he’ll age well.

    Every facet of Crawford’s game of value – from his plus-plus defense to his systematically high BABIP is tied to his legs.

  85. mick December 29th, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Does any of this smell of collusion?
    Only Halladay and Lackey have gotten big contracts.
    It seems like the owners have conspired to just say no to the likes of Boras and drive those salaries down.

  86. RayVT December 29th, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Personally I hate the idea of Gardner in LF. But I am a fan with no real tangible knowledge of his upside. Of course I did see Gardner play in Tampa, but I wasn’t impressed even though he had teriffic stats there. Hi one real great asset is speed & I’d just like to see that used as a pinch-runner and defensive replacemet possibly although his arm is weak.

    I think the Yanks have a midseason LF replacement in mind and believe they can make it to then evaluating what they have. With solid pitching it may be a luxury they can afford.

  87. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    “hose guys both have/ had plus hitting tools. That’s a pretty big confounder. They were tremendous with a bat in their hands. Crawford isn’t remotely close to those players.”

    Yet a significant amount of both Henderson and Ichiro’s value flowed from their speed, and their speed endured.

  88. William Buckner December 29th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    “yes. He is versitile enough to play every position on the diamond, batted .300 last year, can hit leadoff, got over 100 walks last year, and has speed to burn. But yeah he sucks”

    I didn’t write he sucks. I wrote he is a guy that went from under-valued to over-valued.

    He’s a .290 hitter with no power and no position. He runs well but at 32 thats a skill likely to fade.

    He gets on base a lot, no argument there. Does that make him worth $9 mill a year over 4 years? When he’s 34 35 36 is he going to be worth that?

    He’s getting the same money this year and next as Bobby Abreu.

  89. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Right now the Yanks are hugely vulnerable to LHP. I am not looking forward to the lineup against LHP, and dread the days Jorge will sit when facing lefties. Hoffman or Reed Johnson aren’t going to fix that, IMO.

    I loved the Vazquez deal, but if its price was not getting a good righty LF then I’m not so sure.

  90. William Buckner December 29th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Also, I am very scared of the Yankees getting into paying a guy for what they did “last year”.

    Poster child for that was Carl Pavano.

  91. wallypip December 29th, 2009 at 10:53 am

    RayVT:

    I actually agree with everything you just said. IMO, there isn’t an average LF to be had this offseason, so the Yankees would have to bite the bullet and overpay for one of the big three names or overpay for mediocrity in the trade market. If Gardner or Gardner/Hoffman can get on base at a .350 clip, then the Yankees can hold out until the right player comes available during the season.

  92. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    “Does any of this smell of collusion?
    Only Halladay and Lackey have gotten big contracts.”

    Halladay isn’t a factor because he was not on the open market when he signed.

    Bay has been offered a long term deal at $15M per by two different teams.

    Holliday is sitting a guaranteed 5 years and $80M with the potential for more years and already turned down 5 and $82.5M from Boston.

    Where’s the collusion?

  93. CB December 29th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    “Yet a significant amount of both Henderson and Ichiro’s value flowed from their speed, and their speed endured.”

    Those two were great hitters who also had plus speed. Obviously their plus speed helped but that’s not what made them great – especially Rickey.

    Crawford isn’t like either of those players. He doesn’t have their bat skills. He doesn’t come close to Rickey’s strike zone command (which was remarkable and a huge reason why he maintained his effectiveness as he aged). Ichiro has historically great bat command and plate coverage. Not just for this time period, but historically great. Neither is a good comparison for Crawford.

    Crawford reminds me much more of Willie McGee.

  94. mick December 29th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    We look like we lack the depth we had last year.

    Damon is a big part of that.

    Melky provided it as well.

    As well as Hairston and to a lesser extent, Hinske. Not to mention Molina.

    God forbid we have any injuries.

  95. William Buckner December 29th, 2009 at 10:55 am

    “Right now the Yanks are hugely vulnerable to LHP.”

    Fortunately, you don’t see too many good LHP. Lee, Lester. Maybe Saunders, kind of good.

  96. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    “Mickey Rivers, Willie McGee and Vince Coleman didn’t age well, to name three.”

    Willie played to he was 40 years old so that doesn’t compute.

  97. Phil the Thrill December 29th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    The fast guys that lasted like Henderson and Raines had good on base skills.

  98. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Right now the Yanks are hugely vulnerable to LHP. I am not looking forward to the lineup against LHP, and dread the days Jorge will sit when facing lefties. Hoffman or Reed Johnson aren’t going to fix that, IMO.

    How are we hugely vulnernable against lefties? The only lefty killer we lost was Matsui. Melky wasn’t good enough vs lefties to discount Granderson before we see what Kevin Long can do, and Nick Johnson owns lefties.

    NJ + Granderson + inevitable righty LF bat > Matsui + damon (slight split against lefties) + melky (below average player)

  99. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Throughout MLB there are teams that lack depth in their rotations. It is still early. If in the mid ST teams need to add depth, It is nice to have a couple guys like Mitre and Gaudin that could land us a LF later.
    Gardner is good enough to start the season in LF if it comes to that, but the front office can negotiate from a position of strength that they don’t HAVE TO make a move now.

  100. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    william buckner: that’s cool. My response had more to do with people who sh*t on Chone Figgins. I hear you

  101. William Buckner December 29th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    “We look like we lack the depth we had last year.”

    Both Hinske and Hairston were added as the season went on. Molina missed significant time to injury.

    Those pieces can be added as a season goes on.

    Last years bench had Ransom, Pena, Gardner, Stewart, Cervelli at different times last year.

  102. Yankee Trader December 29th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Reed Johnson made 3M last year was terrible against righthanded pitching, much worse BA away from home and in night games and has an injury history. If you look at his 2008 split stats they are much better.

    If they only want a right handed bat for one year that would leave out Holliday, Bay and Byrd.

    Cheap-less than one million, maybe Rocco Baldelli to play part-time in LF.

    One person with a good batting eye, good OBP, power and played a decent left field in Citifield is 40 year old Gary Sheffield-clone to Milton Bradley and close friend of Jeter!!!

    IMO, if we’re staying under 200M-sign Rocco Baldelli, trade Mitre for prospects, keep Gaudin, and see if you can fit Kiko Calero in the bullpen.

  103. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    “Right now the Yanks are hugely vulnerable to LHP.”

    Huh?

    2009 OPS v. L:

    A-Rod: .939
    Teix: .911
    Jeter: 1.010
    Posada: .836
    Swisher: 868
    Cano: .879
    Nick Johnson: 884

  104. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    “Those two were great hitters who also had plus speed. Obviously their plus speed helped but that’s not what made them great – especially Rickey.”

    We’re not talking about what made them great, we’re talking about how speed ages.

  105. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    “Willie McGee played to he was 40 years old so that doesn’t compute”
    ————————————————

    yup. He was an example of longevity. And a damm good centerfielder

  106. CB December 29th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    “Right now the Yanks are hugely vulnerable to LHP. ”

    They are vulnerable to left handers. That’s a systematic weakness they have now compared to last year.

  107. mick December 29th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I know it sounds corny but guys like Damon, Matsui, Molina, Hairston, Hinske, Melky added character and intangibles. That is 25% of the team, I hope they are not missed but think they definitely will be.

    Bringing back Damon would relieve some of it. Imagine the pressure on Granderson and Nick Johnson if we get off to a slow start.

    Our pitching should carry us.

  108. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Jerkface-

    Right now, we would have Granderson and Gardner facing lefties. On a career basis, that’s an OPS of .614 and .627 against lefties. Take away Posada and add Cervelli, you’ll see what I mean.

    Maybe Gardner improves, maybe Granderson hits lefties, but I don’t like the odds.

  109. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    They are vulnerable to left handers. That’s a systematic weakness they have now compared to last year.

    How so? The majority of the team owns lefties.

  110. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    this would have worked:

    Joe Dimaggio
    Mickey Mantle
    Willie McGee
    Bernie Williams
    Curtis Granderson

    all great CF’ers. Although the chapter is not yet finished on Granderson

  111. William Buckner December 29th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    “william buckner: that’s cool. My response had more to do with people who sh*t on Chone Figgins. I hear you”

    Glad to hear we’re on similar page.

    I guess my main bullet point is guys like Chone and DeRosa are the Ben Wallace of MLB.

    They are almost like specialists. And stat guys talk up their value. Except the avg fan misses the point. The value is tied to remaining a specialist.

    When you make either Figgins or DeRosa a starting 3B of LF their value changes.

  112. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Rich in NJ-

    You are looking at the mountains, but overlooking the valleys.

  113. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    “Right now, we would have Granderson and Gardner facing lefties. On a career basis, that’s an OPS of .614 and .627 against lefties. Take away Posada and add Cervelli, you’ll see what I mean.

    Maybe Gardner improves, maybe Granderson hits lefties, but I don’t like the odds.”

    The final roster isn’t set so I’ll wait until then to evaluate their ability to hit left-handed pitching.

  114. CB December 29th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    “We’re not talking about what made them great, we’re talking about how speed ages.”

    Who cares how “speed ages” if that speed doesn’t contribute to the value of the player?

    Players tools matter only in as much as they contribute to value on the playing field.

    The question that matters on a guy like crawford is what his overall value will be moving forward.

    And he’s played on awful astro turf for years. And that’s ruined many careers.

  115. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Right now, we would have Granderson and Gardner facing lefties. On a career basis, that’s an OPS of .614 and .627 against lefties. Take away Posada and add Cervelli, you’ll see what I mean.

    Maybe Gardner improves, maybe Granderson hits lefties, but I don’t like the odds.

    Why are we sitting Posada for no reason(or just vs lefties)? Gardner hit .290 vs lefties last year and has no split in his minor league history.

    Granderson I think remains to be seen. I want to see what K-Long does for him.

  116. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    To add to:
    Rich in NJ
    December 29th, 2009 at 10:58 am
    “Right now the Yanks are hugely vulnerable to LHP.”
    Huh?
    2009 OPS v. L:
    A-Rod: .939
    Teix: .911
    Jeter: 1.010
    Posada: .836
    Swisher: 868
    Cano: .879
    Nick Johnson: 884
    ________________________________________________________
    Good response Rich, but also:

    in MLB you see LF pitching typically less than 30% of AB’s

    So there is dedfinitely no panic vs LHP’s

  117. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    “They are almost like specialists. And stat guys talk up their value. Except the avg fan misses the point. The value is tied to remaining a specialist”
    ———————————————-
    yes. roster flexibility for the 25-man

  118. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    You are looking at the mountains, but overlooking the valleys.

    Your valleys are outnumbered 2 to 1 by mountains, they are in no way ‘hugely vulnerable’. Especially because Gardner is a prospect, and what he has shown in the minors and last season is an ability to hit lefties.

    That doesn’t mean its gauranteed, but you can no more say he can’t than you can say he will.

  119. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    “Who cares how “speed ages” if that speed doesn’t contribute to the value of the player?”

    Me. that was the point I raised.

  120. mick December 29th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Just hypothisizing (sp) but what if Hughes didnt work out as a starter.

    Could you imagine him in the 7th, Joba the 8th with Robbie and Marte in the 6th. With our innings eaters that might be all we need. Aceves for long relief. Gaudin could be the 5th starter.

  121. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Jerkface-

    Gardner had all of 55 ABs against LHP last year. I’d be careful drawing conclusions.

    And my point on Posada is that he will sit at least 20% of the time, and some of those will be against LHP.

  122. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 11:08 am

    “Willie played to he was 40 years old so that doesn’t compute.”

    He played some. Over the last six years of his career, he averaged 270 plate appearances (peaking at 330), 70 hits and 30 runs and an OPS of .694. He was a pretty ineffective player after age 34.

  123. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Just hypothisizing (sp) but what if Hughes didnt work out as a starter.

    omg what a sick bullpen, i’m glad in that hypothetical bullpen joba also didn’t work out as a starter.

    I’d rather hypothesize about them working out as starters.

    Imagine our bullpen if CC & AJ had career changing injuries that limited them to relief?

    CL: MO
    LSU:CC
    RSU: AJ
    7th: Hughes
    6th: Joba
    5th: Robertson/Marte
    4th: Albaladejo

    omggg

  124. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    “Rich in NJ-
    You are looking at the mountains, but overlooking the valleys.”

    Please translate.

  125. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    “That doesn’t mean its gauranteed, but you can no more say he can’t than you can say he will.”

    I never said he “couldn’t”. I said I didn’t like the odds, and you can look it up.

    And if he doesn’t, and Granderson doesn’t, then there will be two very exploitable holes in the lineup, three when Posada sits. Comnpared to last year’s Yanks, that’s “hugely vulnerable” in my mind. Compared to the Royals, maybe not “hugely vulnerable”.

    But I wasn’t thinking about the Royals, I was thinking about beating the Red Sox.

  126. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    “And he’s played on awful astro turf for years. And that’s ruined many careers.”

    I thought Tampa changed their turf a couple of years ago?

    Also, playing indoors might help Carl some in comparison to playing on that hot turf in KC or St. Louis back in the day.

  127. Money Mike December 29th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I am starting the “trade for Luke Scott” campaign…

  128. Laura December 29th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    So is it safe to say that the Yankees don’t want Damon? You’d have to think that he’d take any offer they made to him now. The guy literally has no where else to go.

  129. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    re:
    mick
    December 29th, 2009 at 11:06 am
    Just hypothisizing (sp) but what if Hughes didnt work out as a starter.
    Could you imagine him in the 7th, Joba the 8th with Robbie and Marte in the 6th. With our innings eaters that might be all we need. Aceves for long relief. Gaudin could be the 5th starter.
    __________________________________________________________

    Mick,
    With all the investment & reluctance to trade either Joba or Phil. Do you really think that they would start Gaudin & put them both in the pen?
    Especially after enduring the “Joba Rules”
    These are very special 24 & 25YO pitchers that should be in our rotation long term. The idea is to work both of them into the rotation when possible.
    I like Hughes more as a starter, but with Joba being stretched out and no longer any inning limitations, I don’t want to see them move backwards on him.

  130. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Gardner had all of 55 ABs against LHP last year. I’d be careful drawing conclusions.

    And my point on Posada is that he will sit at least 20% of the time, and some of those will be against LHP.

    And he had only 26 PA’s vs them in 2008. His 2009 OPS was .781 vs lefties. His 2008 OPS was practically negative in a much smaller sample, but enough to bring down his career OPS to .600

    What would I trust more? The larger better sample, or the small terrible sample? I wouldn’t really trust either, but his 2009 sample is more in line with his minor league numbers.

    I just think it is unfair for you to come in here spouting his career number when its not that simple.

  131. Phil the Thrill December 29th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    Willie McGee was perfectly average over his career and mixed in below average years with his best years in his prime. He was not a great player and his last good year came at 32.

  132. fark it December 29th, 2009 at 11:13 am

    are people bemoaning the “loss” of Jose Molina?

    Really???

    Jose Molina?

    Wow. I mean, he’s a nice guy and all, but apart from being A.J.’s caddy I can’t name one irreplaceable aspect of his game.

  133. mick December 29th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I like Hughes more as a starter, but with Joba being stretched out and no longer any inning limitations, I don’t want to see them move backwards on him.
    ====================================================
    George
    Why get Vazquez then? One of them is not starting.

  134. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    If our starters can give us consistent solid 7 inning starts we won’t need the hypothetical killer bullpen.

  135. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Brett Gardner in his minor league career vs lefthanders: 0.292 0.361 0.406 0.767
    Brett Gardner 2009 vs lefthanders: .291 .381 .400 .781

    I’d say thats a more realistic outcome than projecting doom due to 28 bad PA’s his first go around in the majors.

  136. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    “He played some. Over the last six years of his career, he averaged 270 plate appearances (peaking at 330), 70 hits and 30 runs and an OPS of .694. He was a pretty ineffective player after age 34.”

    That’s not entirely true because it was really the last two years that brought his OPS down to that level when he was 39 and 40 years old. Crawford won’t approach that age in this next contract.

  137. Six Degrees of Javier Vazquez December 29th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I imagine Damon will sign a one year deal for $4 million with the giants or A’s or White Sox, etc.

    Only six weeks until spring training – the musical chairs are coming to a full stop.

  138. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Why get Vazquez then? One of them is not starting.

    One will not be starting in the majors. They both have options for AAA.

  139. vinny-b (NJ and Granderson - thank you Cashman!) December 29th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    “Willie McGee was perfectly average over his career”
    ——————————————

    Willie McGee played CF. Not Right or Left. He was not average

  140. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Jerkface-

    Let’s put it differently, based on watching him hit, I’m not at all convinced Gardner will fare well against LHP on a regular basis. I guess the Yanks and you believe otherwise, and right now I hope that the Yanks, and you, are correct and I am not.

    How’s that?

  141. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:17 am

    “Willie McGee was perfectly average over his career and mixed in below average years with his best years in his prime. He was not a great player and his last good year came at 32.”

    He had other good years beyond his season at 32 that were probably above the average OPS during that era.

  142. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 11:17 am

    “God forbid we have any injuries.”

    I’m at a loss when I read nuggets like this.

    What major league team is positioned to sustain major injuries?

    I’ll tell you want major league team is BETTER positioned to overcome injuries – the YANKEES, because they are that much more talented than most other major league teams.

    The dream of having a Yankees JV squad that is the rough equivilant of the starting line-up of the Minnesota Twins is NEVER going to happen.

  143. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    “Willie McGee played CF. Not Right or Left. He was not average”

    He was a good player for several years, but his last 6-7 years in the league, he was considerably below average.

  144. mick December 29th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I think they look at Joba more for the pen with Hughes as the 5th.

    I just remember Phil lounging in the bullpen relaxed and loose.

    Not so sure he wants the pressure and rigors of starting.

  145. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:19 am

    re:
    Why get Vazquez then? One of them is not starting.
    —————————————————–

    Because Vazquez is a top 10 MLB pitcher. Very few teams have the same rotation at the end of the year than they do leaving ST. They will likely start Joba in the #5 with Phil for long relief & if there is an injury Phil would be stretched out for starting again.

    Even though Joba & Phil are outstanding prospects, you don’t pass up on outstanding pitcher who consistently throws 200+ major league innings.

  146. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:19 am

    Jerkface-

    No offense, but how does a minor league career OPS of .767 vs lefties give you any confidence he can hit lefties in the majors? IMO, that translates to significantly less than .767 in the majors.

  147. CB December 29th, 2009 at 11:20 am

    “Me. that was the point I raised.”

    Actually you were talking about value.

    “Yet a significant amount of both Henderson and Ichiro’s value flowed from their speed, and their speed endured.”

    So the point of the discussion we were having was value. Not how speed ages in a vaccum.

    Also, the hypothesis that players on the whole don’t lose speed as they age is implausible so even from a speed in a vacuum perspective this doesn’t hold.

  148. Stan December 29th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Cashman continues to fly under the radar. Only Hal Steinbrenner truly knows what he’s thinking. Once his mind gets settled, he asks Girardi how he sees a player as a fit.
    Any media providing leaks are not getting information straight from Cashman himself.

  149. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    “He was a good player for several years, but his last 6-7 years in the league, he was considerably below average.”

    Again, I disagree with you. He was really bad the last two seasons.

    http://www.baseball-reference......wi01.shtml

  150. Phil the Thrill December 29th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    McGee had an OPS+ of 86 at age 27, 90 at age 28 and 76 with at age 30 mixed in with his good years.

  151. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Not so sure he wants the pressure and rigors of starting.

    Hughes has been a starter his entire career. Why would he want the constant adrenline rush of bullpen pitching? He isn’t doing mop up duty.

  152. Hoffa December 29th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    CB:

    “There aren’t many reasons why anonymous sources would be so emphatic. How does that benefit the team?”

    I agree with you. The only benefit is if the Yankees are interested in a particular player and do not want to drive the price up.

    I don’t know who that player is, but I strongly suspect that it will be someone who costs significantly more than $2 million per year.

  153. mick December 29th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I’ll tell you want major league team is BETTER positioned to overcome injuries – the YANKEES, because they are that much more talented than most other major league teams.
    ============================================================
    Well last year the cry went out for more depth and they got Hairston, Hinske, etc..

    “that much more talented”, that’s a nugget as well. Where is this talent if not on the bench? Sure they can overcompensate with Arod, Tex, Jeter carrying the load but depth is an issue.

    Matsui, Damon, Melky played big parts and are proven.

  154. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    “He had other good years beyond his season at 32 that were probably above the average OPS during that era.”

    Not so much. His OPS+ after age 32 was 89, with a highwater mark of 102.

  155. CountryClub December 29th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    The Yankees wont have an everyday LFer. It’ll be a platoon similar to what we saw last yr in CF (the platoon stopped only because gardner got hurt). Girardi will ride the hot hand offensively and the Yanks will have plus defense in LF.

  156. mick December 29th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    otation at the end of the year than they do leaving ST. They will likely start Joba in the #5 with Phil for long relief & if there is an injury Phil would be stretched out for starting again.
    ======================================================
    Then send down Hughes and let him get his innings in with an eye to the future.

  157. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I kind of feel badly for Matt – he’s waited for years to become a FA and no one wants him except for St. Louis.

    Either the Yankees just don’t like Holliday that much (which is possible) or they like him, but think he’s way too expensive for them. I could handle it better if their lack of interest was based on the former, but the latter? That’s frustrating because, as was just posted, it’s based on some kind of artificial cap they don’t want to go over.

  158. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    I like Phil Hughes, from a fan’s emotional outlook I would prefer to see him in the #5 spot.

    However with a logical impartial view, I see the Yankees investment with Joba as a starter last season & realize that unless he stumbles badly in ST, He will have that spot & Phil will wait in the wings for the next shot.

  159. Bret the Hitman December 29th, 2009 at 11:26 am

    # Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I prefer Holliday to Crawford, but I am not dead set against Crawford. Plus, studies show that speedy players tend to age well.

    Ichiro is a good example.

    If you turn Crawford’s 60 SB’s into doubles, what’s that do to his OPS?

    Factor in his gold glove defense too.

    He’s an all star left fielder, 28 years old.

    He’ll sign a 6 year deal as a 29 year old.

    His legs won’t go before he’s 35.

  160. jvcelt December 29th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    hey 6 degrees….
    we will give mr damon 6 mil. he will be back with us.

  161. ArtieA December 29th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Worth noting that $3million if Arod’s 2010 $32 million salary is still being paid by Texas; add the $500k owed to Atlanta, the Yanks have somewhere in the $2.5- 3 mill catagory to spend on a left fielder if you beleive the intent to stay under $201 million this year. Looks much more like a Hairston or Reed Johnson. I prefer Hairston since he has speed, can play the infield as well. I don’t see Damon coming back , certainly not Bay or Holiday. I’m not excited about Reed Johnson who is too unpredictable as a hitter.

  162. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    No offense, but how does a minor league career OPS of .767 vs lefties give you any confidence he can hit lefties in the majors? IMO, that translates to significantly less than .767 in the majors.

    Minor league translation is not an exact science, look at Robinson Cano who has 1 ‘cano-esque’ season in the minors. Gardner was just fine at the major league level last season. He has his issues but he wasn’t a dead weight. For a 4th OFer right now he is playing well enough, and his major league stats for last season were well in line with his minor league stats. I see no reason why his skill set would say he can’t put up a .750 OPS vs righties or lefties. Its not like he mashed HRs at the minor league level.

    All of his skill in the minors is based on discipline and speed.

  163. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    “Not so much. His OPS+ after age 32 was 89, with a highwater mark of 102.”

    Frank,

    You keep ignoring my point about the last two seasons in which he probably shouldn’t have played at 39 and 40 years old.

  164. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    From a fan’s point of view I’d say Joba belongs in the pen too.

    But from a organizational perspective there is much more value in him as a starter.

  165. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    “Again, I disagree with you. He was really bad the last two seasons.”

    Craw, he was a part time player the last six years of his career.

  166. Bret the Hitman December 29th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Stan December 29th, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Cashman continues to fly under the radar. Only Hal Steinbrenner truly knows what he’s thinking. Once his mind gets settled, he asks Girardi how he sees a player as a fit.
    Any media providing leaks are not getting information straight from Cashman himself.

    Darned straight. The inner circle is much smaller than even Yankees officials themselves realize.

  167. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    “Actually you were talking about value”

    Here was my original post:

    “I prefer Holliday to Crawford, but I am not dead set against Crawford. Plus, studies show that speedy players tend to age well.”

    So you are mistaken.

    I made this point in your response to a point YOU raised:

    “Yet a significant amount of both Henderson and Ichiro’s value flowed from their speed, and their speed endured.”

    And that is true.

  168. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Anyhow, enough about Willie McGee, this is about Carl Crawford and whether he will age well from 29-34 or 35 years old.

  169. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Wave your Hat, there’s no way Jorge is sitting against lefties….

  170. Brian Cashman $$$$$$$$$ December 29th, 2009 at 11:30 am

    jvcelt December 29th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    hey 6 degrees….
    we will give mr damon 6 mil. he will be back with us.

    The Yankees and Johnny Damon are PARTING WAYS.

    You can quote me on that if you haven’t done so already.

  171. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    “Also, the hypothesis that players on the whole don’t lose speed as they age is implausible so even from a speed in a vacuum perspective this doesn’t hold.”

    Are you serious? Who said that? Let me help you, not me.

    Everyone loses speed just like everyone dies.

    The point is that speed tends to age well.

  172. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Wave your Hat, there’s no way Jorge is sitting against lefties….

    Cervelli is a righty so they might try to have him get in vs lefties, but I agree in that Posada will still get ABs vs lefties because he is the primary catcher.

    It might end up not even being a lefty/righty thing. They might just caddy Cervelli to the 5th starter, or CC or something.

  173. CB December 29th, 2009 at 11:31 am

    “Brett Gardner in his minor league career vs lefthanders: 0.292 0.361 0.406 0.767
    Brett Gardner 2009 vs lefthanders: .291 .381 .400 .781 ”

    The external validity of these statistics is extremely limited.

    Minor league left handed pitchers tend to be systematically poor because left handers with reasonable talent tend to move through the minors rapidly. This create a form of selection bias.

    It’s very common that LH hitters who are decent against LH pitching in the minors can’t hit LH at the major league level. Jay Bruce and Alex Gordon are good recent examples of this.

    And has been discussed, Gardner simply didn’t get very many at bats against lefties last year. But even then, Melky got most of the at bats against lefties – particularly better lefties. So again, even those 55 at bats are subject to selection bias.

    And if you want to take a data based approach, Gardner project to be around a .699 OPS by CAIRO, .708 OPS player by ZIPS, and a .726 OPS by CHONE. Those estimates would make him one of the worst offensive LF in baseball next year.

    But on the whole, statistics aren’t going to help very much with what Brett Gardner is likely to do next year due to concerns related to external validity and small sample sizes.

    This is not a player who has strong hitting tools.

  174. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    “Craw, he was a part time player the last six years of his career.”

    My final response to you about Willie McGee. Willie had a good and long career, but he stayed two years too long.

  175. Mike RI December 29th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    AMAZING how some on here think ages 27 to 35 is “Old”

  176. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    I’d like to be a fly on the wall when Girardi is telling Jorge he’s benching him against LHP
    That would be a riot!

  177. Ed H. December 29th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    RayVT
    December 29th, 2009 at 10:47 am
    Personally I hate the idea of Gardner in LF. But I am a fan with no real tangible knowledge of his upside. Of course I did see Gardner play in Tampa, but I wasn’t impressed even though he had teriffic stats there. Hi one real great asset is speed & I’d just like to see that used as a pinch-runner and defensive replacemet possibly although his arm is weak.

    I think the Yanks have a midseason LF replacement in mind and believe they can make it to then evaluating what they have. With solid pitching it may be a luxury they can afford.
    __________________________________________

    Ray, if Gardner is just used off the bench he will never get enough playing time to develop and for the Yanks to really eveluate is potential abilities. He has improved and succeeded at every level he has played. As a rookie with only 248 ABs and an injury he had a .345 OPB. With less than a half season of playing time, he led the team with six triples, more than twice the number of any other Yankee. He also led the team in sacrifice hits (6). Brett had about half as many innings played as Melky Cabrera, who is renowned for his arm (828.2 to 1187,2)and yet had the same number of assists as Melky (3). Remember, these are Gardner’s rookie stats.

    He is a valuable table setter out of the nine hole now and has the potential to eventually replace Jeter in the leadeoff position – if he continues to develop as he has in the past. That’s why its so important to give him a chance to develop now.

  178. Neil December 29th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Brett Gardner can help himself immensely by taking extra long bunting lessons and drills during spring training.
    Anything that can add to his speed helps his cause.
    Kevin Long will spend a lot of time with him and Granderson.

  179. Erin December 29th, 2009 at 11:33 am

    I’m way late to this discussion, but I loved this:

    Mariano Rivera – Himself.

    Classic. :)

  180. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Minor league translation is not an exact science…I see no reason why his skill set would say he can’t put up a .750 OPS vs righties or lefties.”

    I see, you are just hoping based on 55 PAs last year. Fine, nothing wrong with that.

  181. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    It might end up not even being a lefty/righty thing. They might just caddy Cervelli to the 5th starter, or CC or something.
    _______________________________________________________________–

    If anyone gets a caddy its A.J. as he struggles with Posada

  182. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Betsy-

    Posada will sit at least every fifth game. Some of those – probably around 30% – will be against lefties. And if Posada DH’s, it will come at the expense of someone who hits lefties.

  183. CB December 29th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Rich,

    I was referring to the converstaion you and I were having which was related to value. Not your original post.

    And it’s unclear to me how “speed ages well” if it is also true that players lose speed as they age. The argument would have to be that players lose disproportionately less leg speed than they would say lose bat speed?

    I can see this compared to a completely unathletic player like Giambi, but otherwise I don’t see how this holds. But that just might be me not being familiar with the hypothesis and data you are.

  184. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    “Well last year the cry went out for more depth and they got Hairston, Hinske, etc..”

    No “cry” was heard. This is what smart major leagues teams do now. They don’t load up the bench at the start of the season. A-Rod went down before spring training and they decided they could hold the fort.

    Nady went down and they held the fort.

    Posada went down and they held the fort.

    Wang went down and they held the fort.

    Marte went down and they held the fort.

    If the Yanks were overly concerned about depth, they would have addressed their depth problems when they actually HAD depth problems, which was April, May and June.

    Smart teams now let the season develop, see what their needs are going into the stretch run, and fill them at 1/3 of the cost.

    I’ll again remind the Yanks were already in first place when they got Hairston, Hinkse and Gaudin. They FORTIFIED themselves for the final 2 months of the season and the postseason.

    “Where is this talent if not on the bench?”

    In the starting line-up, as you already summized.

    “Matsui, Damon, Melky played big parts and are proven.”

    Granderson and Johnson are proven major leaguers. Gardner had a comparable year to Cabrera.

    Are you under the impression that Yankees have not acquired any players this off-season.

    You do know they qualified for the post-season by a margin of 16 games in 2009, don’t you?

  185. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    I see, you are just hoping based on 55 PAs last year. Fine, nothing wrong with that.

    Which is better than saying he blows because of his 26 PAs in 2008? Gardner in the minors is an .800+ OPS player the 2nd time around. Until he gets a similiar chance as Melky did to improve or show he can adjust to the majors, I am not counting out Gardner.

    I think he is a fine 4th OFer, and his ability in the minors to hit for a speed based average and walk will allow him to have an average OPS. It is a lot easier to take a stance against a player like Gardner who has obvious limitations, but there is no wishing here.

    He has a skill set that can be effective in the majors if he works at it.

  186. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 11:41 am

    “That’s frustrating because, as was just posted, it’s based on some kind of artificial cap they don’t want to go over.”

    Betsy, define a “genuine” cap…

    ??

  187. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Nice post Ed H

    Gardner is only 25, & will only get better with more playing time.

    He is a better alternative to trotting out a worn out LF for the sake of a little more offense.

    I like Gardner for the 9 spot in the order. If he gets on base, that’s more potential RBI’s for the top of the lineup.

  188. Frank December 29th, 2009 at 11:42 am

    “My final response to you about Willie McGee. Willie had a good and long career, but he stayed two years too long.”

    We’re in agreement to a large degree. He did have a good long career. I was really pointing out that his chief attribute, speed, failed him at age 35 and reduced him to part time player status. He was at times effective in his role as a part timer, but was nowhere close to what he was from ages 25-34.

  189. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    CB

    The comment about value was an aside, as far as I’m concerned, not the central topic of discussion.

    All players’ physical skills decline with age, or regress to the mean, if you will. But players with greater than average skills have a greater distance to travel as their skills regress to the mean.

    Obviously, there are individual differences which can form notable exceptions to the rule.

  190. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    AJ does not need a caddy and he does not struggle with Posada. Why are his slumps different than anyone elses? Pitchers go through slumps – no one blames the catcher for those and no one accuses the pitcher of needing a caddy. I didn’t see anyone bringing this up in June or July….

  191. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Jerkface-

    CB explained it very well. I’m going to leave it at that. I do believe you are just hoping that Gardner can play against lefties. I hope he does to.

    However, “Praise the Lord, but pass the ammunition.” When it comes to right-handed hitting outfielders, I wanted Cash to get some more ammunition.

  192. jayhi December 29th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    It’s a little disconcerting that there are only 8 position players that can really be called major leaguers. I understand that many bench players can be picked up later in the season, but that can cost prospects that might someday blossom. Come on Cash sign some bench players. If they don’t work out it’s not much money and if they do you could save a lot.

  193. CB December 29th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    “But players with greater than average skills have a greater distance to travel as their skills regress to the mean. ”

    Thanks for the clarification Rich.

  194. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:48 am

    CB explained it very well. I’m going to leave it at that. I do believe you are just hoping that Gardner can play against lefties. I hope he does to.

    Dude, you were the one using Gardner’s incredibly small career sample vs lefthanders to make your point. I only argued back on the same grounds. Gardner has played well against lefties (including notable good lefties Cliff Lee and Beurhle). He has played well against lefties in the minors.

    His style of hitting is either going to be fine vs lefties or righties (seeing as how he shows no split in his career) or its going to be terrible vs both.

    Look at Jacoby Ellsbury, he has a near identical split for his career vs lefties and righties and he is a very similiar player to Brett Gardner (though he has a better swing).

  195. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Stuckey…..by that I mean that they’ve placed a cap on themselves. We don’t know where that is, but it exists…..pretty obviously.

    As to being weak against LH pitching, how many teams are truly strong in that regard? I can almost guarantee that the Yankees are a much better overall team than whatever teams would be on such a list. As to injuries, no team can withstand major injuries to their superstars; it’s hardly unique to the Yankees. I don’t like the bench at all, but I agree mostly with Stuckey. I still would prefer Hinske and Hairston to return.

  196. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:50 am

    It’s a little disconcerting that there are only 8 position players that can really be called major leaguers. I understand that many bench players can be picked up later in the season, but that can cost prospects that might someday blossom. Come on Cash sign some bench players. If they don’t work out it’s not much money and if they do you could save a lot.

    I don’t think the yankees are going to be paying millions of dollars for vet type guys to sit on the bench next year. The fact that we have quality defenders to backup every position for league minimum, with varying degrees of offensive skill ranging from likely bad to likely below average, means that I think Cash would rather enter the season with payroll room to make a bigger splash at the deadline.

  197. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Jayhi Re:bench

    We have talent already on the 40 man for the backup roles.

    Infield – Ramiro Pena/Kevin Russo/Reegie Corona
    Pinch Hitter/DH/1B – Juan Miranda
    Catching – Cervelli
    OF – Hoffman

    The only addition I’d like to see is Hinske (or similar) a guy who can be a bat off the bench & maybe play RF on occassion.

  198. Bret the Hitman December 29th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    Hennessy, James J.

  199. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:53 am

    “He has played well against lefties in the minors.”

    A career .767 OPS against lefties in the minors, for a left fielder, is not good.

  200. CB December 29th, 2009 at 11:54 am

    “His style of hitting is either going to be fine vs lefties or righties (seeing as how he shows no split in his career) or its going to be terrible vs both.”

    I don’t see how one can come to this conclusion. I can easily see Gardner having an inordinate amount of difficulty against left handed pitching.

    I wouldn’t put much stock into this minor league numbers one way or another with regards to this specific question.

    It’s really an unknown at this point in time.

    An evaluation of his hitting tools is in many ways more important at this point in time than analysis of his prior performance.

  201. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    A career .767 OPS against lefties in the minors, for a left fielder, is not good.

    Good thing he is a center fielder then. And his OPS is average/on base heavy, he isn’t a slugger. if the yankees are smart Brett is in CF if he is in the lineup and Granderson is in LF.

    Even if he is in LF, I’d still consider him the CFer. Its just like Melky, if you have 8 positions of above average offense, I’m fine taking Melky vs the opponents CFer when considering matchups. And as a 4th OFer, I am not comparing Gardner to major league left fielders.

    And Gardner might still end up being more valuable than many left fielders thanks to SB + Defense

  202. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    As a follow up to:
    We have talent already on the 40 man for the backup roles.
    Infield – Ramiro Pena/Kevin Russo/Reegie Corona
    Pinch Hitter/DH/1B – Juan Miranda
    Catching – Cervelli
    OF – Hoffman
    ________________________________________________________

    Besides already having this talent in house, there are very few LOW COST free agents that would be a SIGNIFICANT upgrade to these players.

  203. blake December 29th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    The point is that Crawford is a much bigger risk over the next 5 yrs than Holliday is because so much of his value is tied up in his legs. If the Yankees choose to give Crawford the money they could have given Holliday this year then its a mistake IMO.

  204. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 11:58 am

    It’s comparing apples to oranges to compare our bench at the end of last year, to our projected bench at the beginning of next year.

    However, as of right now, our 2010 opening day bench would be weaker than the 2009 opening day bench, because there is no Nick Swisher on the bench.

    And if Swisher or Tex or Granderson gets hurt, there’s no one on the bench like Nick Swisher to replace them. So that is a concern.

  205. Ed H. December 29th, 2009 at 11:59 am

    GeorgeInJax
    December 29th, 2009 at 11:42 am
    Nice post Ed H

    Gardner is only 25, & will only get better with more playing time.

    He is a better alternative to trotting out a worn out LF for the sake of a little more offense.

    I like Gardner for the 9 spot in the order. If he gets on base, that’s more potential RBI’s for the top of the lineup.

    ——————————

    Thanks, George.

    I too think that Brett will work with Kevin Long in spring training to improve his hitting. I think that it’s not so much his hitting so much as hitting approach that needs work. That’s an adjustment that all kids need to make when they first face major league pitching. He needs to learn not to take two, and sometimes three strikes. Unlike Cano, who has had to learn to be more patient, Brett needs to be more aggressive so that pitchers won’t get a major advantage over him by just laying in strikes one and two. That will bring up both his batting average and OBP as he will get more hits off those fat pitches and have the opportunity to work more walks.

    Gardner also needs to be able to discern off what pitchers he has a chance to drive the ball and what pitchers are likely to overwhelm him. Off the latter he should bunt or beat the ball into the ground on the left side. This will reduce his number of cheap fly outs to the shallow outfield and increase the number of infield hits that he gets. All this is doable, I believe.

  206. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Jekface-

    It’s not good for a CF either. Just worse for a left fielder. But I will leave you to your Brett Gardner hopes, just don’t turn on him later if things don’t work out.

  207. mick December 29th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    You do know they qualified for the post-season by a margin of 16 games in 2009, don’t you?
    ======================================
    Ok you don’t have to be condescending.

  208. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    I don’t see how one can come to this conclusion. I can easily see Gardner having an inordinate amount of difficulty against left handed pitching.

    He has a terrible slap swing that uses almost no lower body. He is basically slapping at the ball, and for the majors has a decent LD% and high GB%. I would say that his ability to take the ball the other way (by design or due to lack of strength/timing) and the aforementioned LD and GB rates, I would contend that Gardner is either going to run out a lot of GBs, hit dying liners, or whatever, no matter what handedness he is facing.

    I don’t see anything about his swing or stats that says he is going to be dominated by lefties but not righties.

  209. jayhi December 29th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    With only 8 major leaguers and odds that one will be injured and unable to play leaves 7 in the lineup early in the year with a front loaded schedule (12 of the first 18 against Sox, TB, and the Angels). We can’t wait to load up at mid-season this year. Sign Byrd or Nady now.

  210. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    “Stuckey…..by that I mean that they’ve placed a cap on themselves. We don’t know where that is, but it exists…..pretty obviously.”

    Then EVERY MLB team has an artificial cap.

    And then let’s stay they sign Holiday this season. Will their “artificial” cap prevent them from signing Crawford and/or Mauer and/or Lee and/or Beckett?

    How about in 2011, will the artificial cap prevent them from signing Pojuls and/or Felix Hernandez.

    You wonder why there is an “artificial” cap while the payroll zooms past $250, then $300, then $400…

    ONE day the Yanks were going to hit their limit, and this was apparently the day. There will ALWAYS be pricey upgrades available.

    The question is, when will fans accept that their is one, and what number will they accept, because there will ALWAYS be an argument to go beyond it.

    “I still would prefer Hinske and Hairston to return.”

    And they will… at least the 2010 versions of them, around July 31st, at which time the Yankees will likely be well positioned to qualify for the playoffs.

  211. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I’m for letting Granderson play CF. If Gardner must start (which I hope he does not, strongly), then let him play LF. Granderson gives us a huge edge against most CF, but he’s rather an ordinary corner OF. Also, I don’t see in what universe Gardner ever pushes Granderson out of his natural position.

  212. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    “A career .767 OPS against lefties in the minors, for a left fielder, is not good.”

    Gardner will never hit enough to be a LF. He may hit enough to be a CF, and be a plus CF.

    btw, Ellsbury’s career mL OPS v. L was .787

  213. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    “The point is that Crawford is a much bigger risk over the next 5 yrs than Holliday is because so much of his value is tied up in his legs.”

    I think Crawford is a bigger risk because he is an inferior hitter.

  214. blake December 29th, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Rich, that too.

  215. mick December 29th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Granderson and Johnson are proven major leaguers. Gardner had a comparable year to Cabrera.
    =================================================
    This I disagree with, stuckey.
    Melky won that job.
    Damon and Matsui won championships, Grandy and NJ have not.

  216. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    It’s not good for a CF either. Just worse for a left fielder. But I will leave you to your Brett Gardner hopes, just don’t turn on him later if things don’t work out.

    Ok, I will not ‘turn’ on Brett Gardner, but supposing he does well you should not be allowed to cheer for him either. I mean thats ridiculous, turn on brett gardner? If he does bad I’ll say he is doing bad. Just like I cheered for Melky to turn things around but rightly derided him for being below average when he was below average.

    Gardner is the 4th OFer, who had a wOBA equal to Franklin Gutierrez last season. The Yankees can win with a 4th OFer equal to the Mariners starting CFer.

  217. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I will support Gardner as I did Melky.
    Both good defenders, both 25yo’s projected to hit in th 9th spot.

    We don’t have to have a free agent mercenary at every position.

    Just listen to Brian Cashman’s Mantra – “Younger, Faster, More Athletic”

    He can see the writing on the wall with a team full of aging veterans. Where will we be when Jeter needs more time off if we don’t give Pena more playing time.

    We have a great team coming off of World Series Championship, yet folks are in panic because the team eyes to the future and is trying to infuse young talent.

    What happens if we don’t add youth? We get old & die to the AL East cellar.

  218. Ed H. December 29th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    “I don’t see how one can come to this conclusion. I can easily see Gardner having an inordinate amount of difficulty against left handed pitching.

    I wouldn’t put much stock into this minor league numbers one way or another with regards to this specific question.”
    ——————————-

    CB,

    Against lefties, Gardner hit .291 and had a .381 OBP last year. SSS, but indications are that he will do just fine against ML lefties.

  219. CB December 29th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    “He has a terrible slap swing that uses almost no lower body. He is basically slapping at the ball, and for the majors has a decent LD% and high GB%.”

    He got overpowered on many swings and hit an inordinate number of pop ups. His infield fly rate was 15% last year – granted this is again an issue with small samples – but 15% is a huge number. His ground ball rate was also lower than 50% which is not good for a player his size.

    His swing is very long for a player his size. He also doesn’t have very good bat speed. LH hitters with long swings often have difficulty hitting LH pitchers (particularly when they don’t have plus bat speed). I could see this being a big problem for him.

    Finally, its very difficult to predict how Gardner is going to react when the league makes additional adjustments to him as he gets more at bats. His two months with an OPS of over .900 is often discussed. But if that continued and he played more the league would have adjusted and its very difficult to know how he would adjust back. He just doesn’t have that broad an array of hitting tools to fall back on.

  220. Josh from Brooklyn December 29th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    I’d like to see the Yanks go with Gardner in center and Granderson in left. If we need to make a change during the season, then that’s what the trading deadline is for.

    I get it, a platoon may allow us to maximize some lefty/righty splits. But I’d prefer to go into the season with Gardner and Granderson… then (if necessary) make a play for a higher quality player before the trading deadline… that is, higher quality vs what’s on the free agent market now.

    Gardner in center and Grandy in left: makes the most sense from a UZR perspective. Analysis of the two players past defensive performance in all outfield positions (albeit Grandy’s left field stats are from back in the day) would support Gardner in center. Gardner is a UZR stud, no doubt because of his fantastic range in center field. The numbers support Gardner as one of the best defensive center fielders in the game… and our eyes should support that fact as well: I remember two ridiculous range plays that Gardner made last season – one being in the world series to rob Werth of an extra base hit.

    So let’s promote from within, and keep our speed burner, UZR stud in center while allowing Granderson to settle into left field (the more offense minded position). If there is a need, we’ll make a change at the trading deadline.

    Go Yanks! By the way, love the Vazquez signing… 200+ innings from a number 4 starter? Awesome.

    Josh

  221. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Stuckey, I’m not sure what your point is.

    IMO, Mauer is re-signing, so I don’t care about him at this particular point in time. Pujols is hardly a need and where are you putting him? I don’t care how great he is, now THAT would be overkill; the Yankees would literally have to force Tex to DH or another position in order to sign Pujols. Felix? I’m not even thinking about him – that’s 2 years away and he may very well re-sign. Other teams, in any case, would be after him; what makes you think he’d sign in NY when he rejected us a few years ago?

    As to the bench, I still do not see why you just want to wait and wait until the deadline when it’s very possible to improve it now. I’m sorry, a bench of Pena, Cervelli and Gardner/Hoffman stinks. There is a HUGE difference between expecting a bench that is the quality of a starting lineup and one that is even decent/good.

  222. blake December 29th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Crawford is one year older than Holliday so if the Yanks waited until next year to sign him then you would be getting a player that’s the same age as Holliday is this year with a core that’s a year older. So basically you have no upgrade in LF this year and an inferior one next year as oposed to a significant upgrade both years.

    If the Yankees signed Holliday this year then they like wouldn’t need to make any significant position player moves for a few years especially if Montero can catch..

  223. CB December 29th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    “Against lefties, Gardner hit .291 and had a .381 OBP last year. SSS, but indications are that he will do just fine against ML lefties.”

    The data does not support this conclusion or indicate that this would be the case. I commented on this in my post from 11:31.

  224. Phil the Thrill December 29th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I think Gardy will be okay versus lefties cause he doesn’t bale.

  225. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Granderson gives us a huge edge against most CF, but he’s rather an ordinary corner OF. Also, I don’t see in what universe Gardner ever pushes Granderson out of his natural position.

    This whole thought line I disagree with. Once you’ve fielded your lineups and all FA or trade acquisitons are sorted, there are no ‘edges’. Either your lineup 1-9 is worse, as good, or better than the opponent or it isn’t. Having Granderson play CF just to own some mysterious ‘edge’ over the opponents centerfielder is worthless.

    Look at these scenarios
    Opponent
    LF: Average LFer
    CF: Average CFer

    Yankees
    LF: Gardner (below average LFer offensively, above defensively) lets say below average total LFer
    CF: Granderson (above average offensively, above average defensively)

    Do we gain a bonus to hitting because our CFer is above average? If Gardner is in the lineup, you maximize the abilities of the players involved.

    Gardner in CF, where his defense is phenominal, Granderson in LF where his defense will be much better than in CFer.

    Total net gain in defense, the same offense because positions do not affect offensive production. We don’t gain a bonus to having Jeter at SS or Posada at catcher, all that allows us to do is field an overall better offense because filling the other positions with even average bats at the position gives us an overall offensive edge.

    If we make all our moves this offseason, and still have Gardner playing in LF and Granderson in CF, then that is just stupid. It only makes sense to leave Granderson in CF if our LFer is not Brett Gardner.

  226. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    “Ok you don’t have to be condescending.”

    How else do you respond to people who are unwilling or unable to concede the point that the Yankees compete against 29 other teams and not themselves or fan perception, and the only relevant factor is how the Yankees talent compares to OTHER teams, as well as refuse to recent history to inform their opinions and arguments.

    The Yankees are BETTER and DEEPER than nearly all of the other 29 other major league teams, and both statistical analysis and recent history more than prove out. And each of those other 29 teams are prone to the same injury concerns, with just LESS talent to compensate.

    HOW do you talk to someone who either can’t understand that or refuses to acknowledge it?

  227. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Jerkface-

    Why do you keep saying Gardner is the fourth OF? I’d be happy if he was the fourth OF, but he’s the third outfielder, at least he was the last time I looked.

    And I’m allowed to cheer for Gardner if he does better than I expect. However, I believe you (and others) may have inflated expectations for Gardner. I don’t like to see players criticized for failing to live up to expectations that weren’t necessarily realistic to begin with.

  228. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    George, you make it sound like every young player is a good player……that’s not even close to being true. I like Cervelli – he’s a darn good catcher and the vets already love him. If he hits, great. If not, that’s no big deal. Pena? I don’t love….and he’s never given any indication that he could hit MLB pitching (and last year was a very small sample size).

    I’m intrigued by Hoffman, but we really need to stop assuming that he can do that job. For all we know, he could be a bust. Certainly give him a shot, but at least wait and see first.

  229. blake December 29th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Crawford is a year younger than Holliday so of the Yankees wait until next year to sign him then they will be getting a player that’s the same age as Holliday is this year with a year older core. So instead of having a significant upgrade both years with Holliday, you have no upgrade in 2010 and a lesser upgrade in 2011.

    If they signed Holliday this year then they may not need to make any major position player moves for several years.. Especially if montero can stick behind the plate.

  230. Nick in SF December 29th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I think this phrase ‘artificial cap’ is more commonly referred to as a budget.

    The Yankees’ budget for 2010 probably still has more flexibility than that of most teams.

  231. DaSaint007 December 29th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I totally enjoyed the interchange discussion on Crawford. For some time, I’ve advocated for him as a possible target. Some here have repeated that he won’t ‘age well’ and therefore his speed will decline, as if that’s not the norm. Jeter’s speed has declined, and he’s not a power hitter, major RBI man, or plus defender, but he’s a vital part of the team and will continue to be so for the next few years.

    Crawford is not as good a hitter as Holliday. I fully understand that. But that’s not the point. The point I’ve tried to make is his complete arsenal: decent power, decent run production, excellent defensive capability, excellent range in the field, being a terror on the basepaths, and being a good clubhouse guy, AND the fact that he may be more affordable because his numbers don’t stack up to a Holliday or Bay, MAKES him potentially a more attractive LF.

    Add to that the fact that he’s only 28, and the opportunity exists to control a player during his prime in a hitter-friendly park.

    To me, that’s a major reason why Cashman will not sign Holliday or anyone else for a long-term commitment in LF until next year.

  232. CB December 29th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Curtis Granderson was arguably the second best CF in baseball last year in terms of runs saved. Over the past 3 years he was the 5th best defensive CF.

    There’s no reason to move him, particularly if you want to make that decision based on “advanced metrics.”

  233. crawdaddy December 29th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    “Crawford is one year older than Holliday so if the Yanks waited until next year to sign him then you would be getting a player that’s the same age as Holliday is this year with a core that’s a year older. So basically you have no upgrade in LF this year and an inferior one next year as oposed to a significant upgrade both years.”

    Not really! Holliday turns 30 in a few weeks. Crawford turns 29 in August.

  234. austinmac December 29th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Gardner will not hit. He has an awful swing, takes too many strike threes and will never, ever hit with any power. He can run. That is his talent. I think a starting left fielder–one of the prime offensive positions–must be able to hit and produce runs. Major league pitchers will not walk him unless they are struggling with control.

    People often say “We’ll get one at the trade deadline.” That does cost more prospects. I say fix the problem now with a free agent and keep your prospects.

  235. blake December 29th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I meant Crawford is one year younger.

  236. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    “Melky won that job.”

    In April.

    Bearing in mind *I* liked Cabrera and would be perfectly happy with him in LF, Gardner had a roughly equal year when compensating for their skill sets.

    “Damon and Matsui won championships, Grandy and NJ have not.”

    So if you put Matsui on the Nationals last year and Damon on Detroit, which one would have won the 1 championship available between them?

    Was Sabathia a bad signing because he hasn’t won a championship?

    How about Teixeira?

    Oh wait, all but 6 Yankees won’t their FIRST Championship last year?

    How did that happen? I thought you HAD to have won one to qualify for another…?

  237. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Why do you keep saying Gardner is the fourth OF? I’d be happy if he was the fourth OF, but he’s the third outfielder, at least he was the last time I looked.

    And I’m allowed to cheer for Gardner if he does better than I expect. However, I believe you (and others) may have inflated expectations for Gardner. I don’t like to see players criticized for failing to live up to expectations that weren’t necessarily realistic to begin with.

    Cashman has said he is going to sign another outfielder. Until spring training rolls around and Brett is a starter again, I won’t believe him being the 3rd OFer. If a .750 OPS is ‘inflated expectations’ then you are merely being a pessimist for the sake of being one. I am realistic optimist. I expect the best and prepare for the worst. My opinion is free to change as I observe what is happening. By backing Brett Gardner I am in no way signing a pact to proclaim him the best ever and future CFer for all eternity. You just made a silly argument that he was bad versus lefties, ignoring sample size and his minor league history, and I just pointed that out.

  238. Rich in NJ December 29th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    “People often say “We’ll get one at the trade deadline.” That does cost more prospects. I say fix the problem now with a free agent and keep your prospects.”

    Unless they are leaking disinformation, which is possible, they may not want to spend enough to “fix” it now.

  239. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Betsy,
    Re:
    George, you make it sound like every young player is a good player……that’s not even close to being true. I like Cervelli – he’s a darn good catcher and the vets already love him. If he hits, great. If not, that’s no big deal. Pena? I don’t love….and he’s never given any indication that he could hit MLB pitching (and last year was a very small sample size).
    _____________________________________________________________

    We are talking about Backup/Bench/replacement players.
    these guys are all very good defensively.

    as I said there are VERY FEW LOW COST options in free agency. Why pay big bucks to sit on the bench.
    This is also a way to give these young guys MLB experience, thus they become more valuable in house later or as trade chips.

    Other than a bat off the bench, there is no reason to spend big money on bench players.

  240. Josh from Brooklyn December 29th, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Blake – incorrect. Carl Crawford is actually a year YOUNGER than Matt Holliday.

  241. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    There’s no reason to move him, particularly if you want to make that decision based on “advanced metrics.”

    If the Yankees are starting Brett Gardner, you move Granderson to Left.

  242. Betsy -high on pie December 29th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Jerkface, I don’t think Gardner is a phenomenal OF under any circumstances, so we disagree there. You make it sound like Granderson is a bad CF – why, because he had a couple of bad games late last year? He’s a very good CF.

    Also, I totally disagree that having a Jeter at SS or Posada at C doesn’t give us an edge on 99.99% of other teams.

  243. Ed H. December 29th, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Sorry CB, I missed seeing your well layed out 11:31 post.

    Gardner will never improve if he doesn’t get the playing time against harder lefties and doesn’t get the tutelage to do so. My main point, as we have discussed before, is that Gardner needs to get the opportunity to grow before we can evaluate what we have in him. The Yanks have a heritage of eating their young and need to be better at developing their young players.

  244. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Jerkface, I don’t think Gardner is a phenomenal OF under any circumstances, so we disagree there. You make it sound like Granderson is a bad CF – why, because he had a couple of bad games late last year? He’s a very good CF.

    No, I just think Gardner is a better centerfielder than Granderson. I think Granderson is excellent. I just think Gardner is better. I think Granderson would be better in leftfield.

    If my choices are

    CF: +10
    LF: +15

    or

    CF: +15
    LF: +15

    I think I take the second one? Thats just a very simple way with no actual statistical meaning to look at my reasoning behind it.

    You just maximize the talent on the field. Granderson has said he can play left, he has played left before, its no big deal. If Brett is in the game, move Granderson to LF so that Brett can cover our spacious CF and granderson can cover our slightly less spacious LF.

  245. Josh from Brooklyn December 29th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    austinmac – Gardner’s talent extends beyond offensive speed. That speed translates into a powerful centerfield range factor, as evidenced by his fantastic UZR rating. Even Gardner’s VORP is well above average… certainly a result of his combination of offensive speed, solid OBP and tremendous UZR.

    I understand your point about left field being a more offense-heavy role. That’s why in my original post, I recommended Granderson becomes the left fielder (he has played left in the past). This would allow Grandy to settle into the more offensive role (left field) while allowing the Yanks to take advantage of Gardner’s center field UZR prowess.

  246. David in Cal December 29th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I like Brett Gardner. The Sagarin rating takes into account his baserunning as well as his hitting. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/alb09.htm

    His rating of 5.05 isn’t great, but it ranks 23rd among the 105 hitters with 161 – 391 plate appearances. It’s better than a lot of other hitters, including Melky. It would ranks 58th among the 75 hitters with over 502 PAs. Given his outfielding fielding and the fact that last year was his rookie year, I expect a fairly decent performance this year from Gardner.

  247. blake December 29th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I know that Crawford is a year younger, if you read the second line of the post that’s obvious.

  248. Wave Your Hat December 29th, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    “By backing Brett Gardner I am in no way signing a pact to proclaim him the best ever and future CFer for all eternity. You just made a silly argument that he was bad versus lefties, ignoring sample size and his minor league history, and I just pointed that out.”

    You are the one ignoring stats.

    I used career splits, I pointed out that the minor league left handed splits don’t translate to good major league numbers against lefties.

    CB has made excellent points as well, none of which you have begun to address even marginally well.

    Other than Matt Holiday, Jason Bay and Johnny Damon, none of which I believe the Yanks are likely to sign now, there aren’t a lot of outfielders left to be the everyday third outfielder for Cashman to sign. Gomes maybe in a platoon role, maybe he turns out to be too expensive too.

  249. Josh from Brooklyn December 29th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Jerkface – we’re on the same page with Gardner in center and Granderson in left field… I really think it solves all needs quite well.

    Josh

  250. CB December 29th, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    “If the Yankees are starting Brett Gardner, you move Granderson to Left.”

    That’s ridiculous. People have gone over the deep edge on Gardner. It’s really remarkable.

    Granderson was the second best defensive CF in baseball last year by the Fielding Bible.

    And it’s just definitely correct to move a player like that in his prime for a guy who played 630 innings last year just because his UZR was through the roof?

    So if you want to explain why Gardner’s UZR data on a small sample is more valid than Granderson’s Fielding Bible Data is on a much larger sample, please do. The methodological work needed to delineate those two “advanced fielding metrics” has not been done to date as far as I know.

    Players aren’t strat cards.

    It’s remarkable that people who are constantly talking about small sample sizes for nearly every other player are willing to suspend disbelief on Brett Gardner and give a player with such limited skills so much benefit of the doubt.

    It’s really curious why Brett Gardner elicits these kinds of sentiments.

  251. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    “Stuckey, I’m not sure what your point is.”

    The point is the argument about what should or should not be the Yankees cap or budget (whichever term you prefer) is always going to be relative.

    Regardless of what it is, there will ALWAYS be a argument to go beyond. THIS off-season it’s Holiday. Next year it will be someone else, and year after that, someone else.

    This is specifically in response to you consistent query as to WHY the Yanks have drawn that line.

    I’m trying to point out to you that you know the answer to the question already – because the Yankees WERE going to draw the line eventually and this year was it.

    You know as well as I do, next year and the year after and the year there will be new objects of fans’ affections and if no hard line if EVER drawn someone will be asking the same question YOU are. Why now?

    And the simple answer is – because eventually there HAD to be a now.

    This is not about dollars and sense, it’s about a simple, logical way of looking at things that makes it all make perfect sense.

  252. RayVT December 29th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    Gardner may have some upside if he learns how to bunt. He was incredibly weak during the playoffs where every hitter is examined more. Basically he was an automatic out. Teams now have more data on Gardner and how he adjusts to that will decide if he will continue in the majors as a potential starter or just as a PR.

    I hope I’m wrong, but he does not impress me at all other than as a baserunner and even there he lacked maturity last year with that. Melky was a much better all around player than Gardner.

    So in essence the Yanks have the following:
    Matsui –> Nick Johnson [EVEN]
    Damon –> Gardner
    [NEGATIVE]
    Cabrera –> Granderson
    [POSITIVE]
    Hairston –> Pena/AAA type
    [NEGATIVE]
    Hinske –> Hoffman
    [NEGATIVE]
    Molina –> Cervelli
    [EVEN]

    Basically we are weaker than the end of year team last year on offense. Stronger in Pitching.

  253. Jerkface December 29th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Post Granderson’s fielding bible stats then, CB. Thats not a source readily available to everyone, it costs 20 bux. Post Granderson’s fielding bible (is that plus / minus?) stats and Gardner’s.

    Gardner is certainly faster than Granderson, and UZR has shown no love for Grandy the past 2 years. Meanwhile, it loves Gardner.

    And I don’t think the Yankees should even be starting Gardner (I think I’ve made this clear?), but if they do, why would you NOT put him in Center?

  254. stuckey December 29th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    “As to the bench, I still do not see why you just want to wait and wait until the deadline when it’s very possible to improve it now. I’m sorry, a bench of Pena, Cervelli and Gardner/Hoffman stinks. There is a HUGE difference between expecting a bench that is the quality of a starting lineup and one that is even decent/good.”

    They may “stink”, but last year they were “good enough”, which is the only thing that matters really.

    And the answer to your question is fiscal responsibility, which is OBVIOUSLY a concept Yankees fans are having difficulty wrapping their heads around.

    Bench is overrated to begin with… it’s HIGHLY overrated in April-July.

    Filling needs mid-season becomes with two advantages.

    1.) It costs less; and 2.) in order to best address a need it helps to allow the need to present itself.

    But again, why argue in a vacuum? Can you acknowledge the Yankees lack of bench strength before the July 31st deadline in 2009 did not prevent them from winning a championship and DID net them 2/3rds of the cost of having Hairston, Guadin, and Hinske all year?

  255. bru December 29th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    if the rs signed holliday/bay or traded for a big bat cashman imo would go to hal & co & say we need a big bat

    war projections have us adding 12.4 war & the rs at 12.7 roughly so it is a wash

    if the rs add holliday at 5 or 6 war then they just added about 5 wins or so more than we did from last year

    if they got halladay instead of lackey & or added bay/holliday i think we go over what looks like the under 200 million cap cash is dealing with.

    if lee has a good year next year i see us smack in the middle

    werth/crawford also

    i can see us getting a big pitcher or two or one pitcher & a big bat

  256. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    RavVT
    So in essence the Yanks have the following:
    Matsui –> Nick Johnson [EVEN]
    Damon –> Gardner [NEGATIVE]
    Cabrera –> Granderson [POSITIVE]
    Hairston –> Pena/AAA type [NEGATIVE]
    Hinske –> Hoffman [NEGATIVE]
    Molina –> Cervelli [EVEN]
    Basically we are weaker than the end of year team last year on offense. Stronger in Pitching.
    ________________________________________________________

    The team lost Damon/Matsui but gained Granderson/Johnson
    So we are at Equal offens & overall it is a more athletic team.

    The bench isn’t set yet but, Miranda/Hoffman/Pena is still better than Hairston/Hinske for a lot LESS $$

    (I do like Hinske & hope he is signed for a bench spot)

  257. Josh from Brooklyn December 29th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    CB – understand your concerns about moving Granderson to left field. And I agree that players cannot be moved from one position to the next on a whim. But I think your analysis is only painting one side of the picture.

    First, the Fielding Bible rated Granderson third amond centerfielders. Not second. Don’t mean to be picky here, just stating an important disctinction, considering how far ahead of the pack Gutierrez is. Second, Granderson was rated third among those with a minimum number of at bats to qualify. Using Gardner’s UZR rating, it would be Gardner rated second, if he had another 100 at bats under his belt. And third, although Granderson was rated third among centerfielders in Fielding Bible, that ranking only equated to 1.5 wins over the average center fielder. In fact, in 2008, Granderson was actually a -8 run diff versus a replacement player… so he’s been a bit up and down recently.

    I think Granderson (having played left field in the past) is a nice move for the Yanks in left this season.

    And yes, Gardner is that valuable defensively. In fact, Mvn.com makes the case (analysis) that Gardner’s defense is so valuable that he’s a better overall player than Jason Bay.

  258. RayVT December 29th, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    GeorgeInJax
    December 29th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    They lost everyone listed on the left! Not just Damon & Matsui.

  259. Brian NYY December 29th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    “Gardner in CF, where his defense is phenominal, Granderson in LF where his defense will be much better than in CFer.”

    Huh. Gardner has no arm! so you can’t say his defense is phenominal. You need all the tools to gte that tag. Both Gardner and Grandy are above average in CF. stick Gardner on the bench, where he belongs, and see if Damon comes around. If not, Gardner can go to LF and try to learn to hit ground balls.

  260. GeorgeInJax December 29th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Re:
    “They lost everyone listed on the left! Not just Damon & Matsui.”

    Yes, but is it really a devastating loss? No way
    Damon apart from his offense (replaced by NJ) is a marginal at best defender. Matsui’s offense (zero defense) replaced by Granderson (& superior defense) is a NET GAIN even with Gardner in LF/CF batting 9th.

  261. ko December 29th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Let’s take Cashman at his word that he’s finished spending this winter. That means that he’s gambling on the Yankee lineup producing even tho’ it is clearly weaker than last year’s. He’s wishing that someone comes thru as a #5 starter. Also, the bench is appreciably weaker. Let’s hope he gets lucky and the Yankee team as its currently constituted can stay competitive thru mid season next year. The problem is if it doesn’t. I can see the Yankees struggling to score runs without Damon and Matsui. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that Granderson and Johnson are adequate replacements. Also, Swisher played way over his head last year – you can expect a nosedive there. Posada’s a 38 year old catcher, but that’s another story. Anybody who has watched Gardner hit has legitimate concerns. That means, come mid season next year, the Yankees will be desperate for a big bat in the middle of the lineup. Let’s hope they don’t sell what’s left of the farm to get one. On the starting pitching side, who says that one of Chamberlain, Hughes or Aceves steps up to be a competent big league starter this year? I’m not saying it can’t happen, but its a big question mark. And you’ve got a brittle Burnett and a 38 year old Pettitte in the rotation. You can’t trust Cashman as being on top of this situation because he’s the guy who has brought in Ponson, Karstens, Rasner, Igawa, Giese, Small, Chacon, Gaudin, Mitre, etc. in over the last five years when previous gambles didn’t work out. Anyway, here’s hoping either that Cashman isn’t really done spending or that the Yankees get really lucky.

  262. Josh from Brooklyn December 29th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Ko – wow, you are a pessimist huh? Geez.

    Even with question marks in the rotation, right field, age, and overall below average defense, the 2009 Yankees were projected by Baseball Prospectus to win 99 games. And they played a little better than that to win 103 games.

    Baseball Prospectus will most likely project the Yanks around the 99 win mark again (thanks Javy) for 2010. Why? Because while every team has question marks, the Yankees have the fewest.

  263. ANSKY December 29th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    If Holliday is signed then the payroll would be higher than anticipated (at least publicly) but could they be considering accompanying moves that drop the payroll?

    If their number is $9MM to the ‘ceiling’ and they sign Holliday for (just for example) something like $16MM, where would they drop the $7MM? Moving Swisher or even a batch of cheaper players could balance it out, but who takes Swisher’s place as RF/4th OF if he’s moved? Swish isn’t a top flight OF but is any one or combination of Gardener/Hoffman/Hairston potentially close to Swisher?

    I do like Gardner but I heard his throwing arm is a weak spot. Anything’d be better than Damon’s arm though.

  264. ANSKY December 29th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Maybe they could also backload or put a delayed bonus in Holliday’s contract that coincides with the end of Igawa’s horrible deal.

    If the difference between Boston’s offer to Teixiera and New York’s offer was something like a million a year, and the perception is that Boston could have made up the difference, then the net numbers might not really be all that far away on Holliday.

  265. the gay Yankee fan December 29th, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    Brett Gardner will only improve. To say that he will not improve and stay the way he did last year is insane and just biased.

    Furthermore, the Yankees lineup as of this moment is old and slow.

    Your two fastest player is Jeter and Granderson. Jeter is getting slower.

    You NEED a Brett Gardner MORE than another slugger. His type of play energizes the team and makes the Yankees look much more agile.

  266. ko December 29th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    There’s a fine line between pessimistic and realistic. As a manager, you need to look at and plan for different scenarios. I wish Cashman would do that. He really takes an accountant’s approach to things rather than a managerial approach. He’s always making obviously bad moves, painting himself into a corner to save a buck, and then having to make panic moves later on when it inevitably doesn’t turn out. Its like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

  267. bru December 29th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    imo nj does not replace matsui & we take a beating with cg batting lh

    nj gets on base but pitchers do not fear him as much as matsui

    nj & cg might have a better obp,slg,ops but only slightly & i doubt they replace the run production of damon & matsui

    now for about 12 million combined & us getting younger & better defense i like it especially knowing our pitching is better

    i would of loved to land cliff lee

    cash tried very hard i hear

    give him credit there

    i don’t know what it would of cost & it is probably smarter to wait instead of giving up a ton
    man is next offseasons hot stove going to be interesting

  268. Josh from Brooklyn December 29th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    ko – I’m not the biggest Cashman fan myself. Through the years, he’s consistently showed a lack of vision and creativity… leaning way too hard on free agency, rather than ingenuity. Not to mention his failure to recognize (until recently) that pitching is the top priority.

    That said, Cashman pulled all the right levers in free agency prior to the 2009 season (albeit by opening his wallet). And he has followed that up this offseason by showing precisely the resourcefulness I have always thought he lacked.

    So, I think he has tremendously evolved within the past 18 months… very impressed with the moves this offseason.

  269. brian December 29th, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    IMO Hinske is no great loss, he did have a few HR’s early on after he was acquired, but where is this great loss that compared to our current younger/cheaper bench. I’m certainly not foolish enough not to worry about younger untested players, but there will be a slew of veteran players signing minor league contracts that we ca pick over. 1 more thing the occasionally inconsistant additions at the end of last season(Gaudin and Mitre) were certainly not rash reactive moves on Cashman’s part. They both filled a need and were both very low risk high reward players.

    Look at the bigger picture and see Cash is only trying to wait out the market and create flexabilty for next seasons FA’s AND prepare for a new agreement in the future that will almost certainly penalize the Yank’s for their overspending.

  270. Steve B. December 30th, 2009 at 8:48 am

    The Yankees will (should) sign Hairston as super-sub, and Reed Johnson as right-handed caddy for Gardner…then spend, spend, SPEND next year for Carl Crawford and Cliff Lee

  271. Joe X December 30th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    LA taught thr Yankees a lesson — speed kills –. This year the Yankees proved to them how well they had learned. Next year with Crawford near the front of the line-up, Granderson and Gardner they can further that game. Right now, we still have to replace Melky with a decent temporary LF until they can acquire Crawford. It can’t be Gardner because of his rare versatility as a pinch-runner OF replacement. He’ll get a ton of work, almost daily, but after the 6th and from the bench. Rest Tex, Swish goes to 1st, Gardner to RF. Blow out (and there should be many with this line-up), Gardner in. Day game after night game, Gardner in. One run game, Jorge gets a single in the 7th, Gardner in. That’s all good stuff not including an injured outfielder. Gerardi gets a lot of flexibility and he loves it. You can’t gain as much with Reed Johnson on the bench but putting him in the field allows you to use Gardner. You also lose it if you put Granderson in left and Gardner in CF and BIG IF you get Crawford midseason it could be messy swapping back. Crawford is very active in charities for kids. Near the end of the season CC and Jeter, who are also very active in similar groups, attended events with him in FL. These guys network and are likely aware of each others thoughts on a lot issues, not the least of which is baseball, and Granderson fits well into their group. Looking forward to it.

  272. Joe X December 30th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Oops. Overlooked A-Rods activties with the Boy’s and Girls Club.


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